April 23, 2019

Paris, the Marxist geographer David Harvey argues, is the Capital of Modernity. There is a way through Harvey’s voluminous work, as he himself shows in his collected essays on the city, in which Paris as a city is the concrete thread that ties together so much of his analysis of the uneven geographies of capital. The operative concept here is creative destruction, that the modern — that is, the new — has to come out of the old being destroyed. The magical… Read more

April 22, 2019

If there is a text by which my teaching career has been defined, it is probably the Book of Genesis. I mean the word career rather loosely; it is less about my work within the institutions of academia, which do not only involve teaching (tenure is evaluated on research, collegiality by service, and relatability by community engagement), and more about the continuity between all the odd jobs I worked before I became an academic and what I currently do as an educator… Read more

April 21, 2019

Two Palm Sundays ago, I found myself in Boston for the annual geographers’ conference. I am being specific about my discipline because, for all intents and purposes, I am a secular academic. Of course, I think and write theologically — which Christian doesn’t? — but I am, by training and profession, a social and cultural geographer. I go to geography conferences, and this one was being held where all the big conventions are held in Boston, out in Back Bay…. Read more

April 20, 2019

I was eleven when my grandpa died. He was not doing well when he did. A few months before he passed, he had stopped taking his anti-psychotic medications. He was clinically depressed, and had been for quite a while before the vogue began, and was about to get into a lot of trouble for taking a pair of scissors to a neighbour’s flowers just because he liked them and wanted to take them home. As it turns out, he was… Read more

April 20, 2019

The next time some chump in any of the Christian communions says to me that Jordan Peterson is on our team because of his Jungian-not-really reading of Genesis (it is, as Sam Rocha shows, actually biologically deterministic), I will retort that the ‘debate’ (a term that is debatable for describing what went down) that was scheduled on his home turf in Toronto between him and Slavoj Žižek took place on the New Calendar’s Good Friday. For Žižek, this day was probably… Read more

April 19, 2019

Here in Chicago, we are on the Old Calendar. Seeing the Good Friday posts from our New Calendar sisters and brothers, we have a glimpse of what we look forward to next week for Great and Holy Week. To me, there is nothing sad or even awkward about this arrangement, and while some have observed to me that I ‘straddle’ two calendars, the truth is that I have become, over time, very comfortable with the one that I am on…. Read more

April 17, 2019

As the Great Fast winds down on this Wednesday of its Sixth Week (we are a week behind our sisters and brothers on the New Calendar), we are reminded of why we have fasted in today’s Sixth Hour reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah. It’s a direct follow-up to our Chicago mission group’s recent reflections on why we are called St Mary of Egypt Social Justice Fellowship. I quote it in full: Shout out, do not hold back!     Lift up… Read more

April 15, 2019

A few weeks ago, those of us who compose our mission group in Chicago, St Mary of Egypt Social Justice Fellowship, were talking about sainthood. I’m not perfect enough to be a saint, one of us said, and our leader, the inimitable Julian Hayda, replied, Well, that’s why we are named after St Mary of Egypt. The point of sainthood, he reminded us, is that we are not perfect. Anyone who ever became holy has come out of a life of sin,… Read more

April 12, 2019

It goes without saying that Benedict XVI’s recently published letter on sex abuse is terrible. I will also leave an obligatory note here about how I have liked Ratzinger’s writings (even as a Protestant), have tweeted my amazement at them, and have read enough people couching their critique of the former pontiff as loving fanboys disappointed in their master that I will do nothing of the sort here. The letter stands or falls on its merits alone, and there are… Read more

April 4, 2019

Over at The Anxious Bench on one of our sister channels on Patheos, my friend and colleague Melissa Borja, a historian of race and religion in America at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has an interview with four of us, her colleagues in this field, about the impact of ethnic studies on religious studies. She asked us about it in the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front strikes in the Bay Area in 1969, which were… Read more

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